Review: Twisted Pride by Cora Reilly

I’m finding myself more and more intrigued with mafia books than ever before. In February I stumbled upon Cora Reilly’s Born in Blood mafia series while doing a free trial of Kindle Unlimited. From the very first book I was hooked. I inhaled them in a matter of a couple of days, then I immediately jumped into The Camorra Chronicles, which is the spin off series. So I’ve been DYING to get Remo’s story! He’s one of the most brutal characters in these series but I knew he would crack when he found the right woman.

Now mafia books aren’t for the faint of heart. They’re brutal and sometimes disturbing, but family is at the core, so they can also be filled with lots of love. This series is about a set of brothers and Remo is the head of them. He will do everything and anything for his family, even kidnap and break an innocent woman. I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous when I started. I know what Remo’s like and I needed to prepare myself. But like I said, all it take is the right woman to ease the monster and Serafina is that woman.

Serafina was raised like all women are raised, covered in protection till their wedding. But when she is kidnapped on her way to her wedding, she has to be strong and unbreakable in the face of a monster. The more she’s there, the more she grows to understand Remo and why he’s the way he is. Soon her heart makes a decision that will forever change her life.

I missed the days when I thought a knight in shining armor riding a white stallion would steal my first kiss.

Instead a monster had claimed me, body and soul.

I loved watching these two circle each other. Seeing the brothers get a little softer when more women enter their lives is fun to watch. They will still be killers, don’t get me wrong, but when they look upon the face of their women, you see an easing of the tension that surrounds them. Behind all the violence are men who just want to be loved, even if they don’t want to admit to that.

~Melpomene

Read all three books in the Camorra Chronicles. Click picture for link.

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Review: Enrage by Rachel VanDyken


I love this mafia family. They aren’t perfect, but they’re family. When one of their own starts to go down a path that’s not what the majority wants, it’s up to them to reel them in and point them in the right direction. But sadly, sometimes that isn’t always easy to do.

When we first met Dante, I was very curious about him. I knew they were going to train him, but I didn’t know how much of an participant he would be in the family. Man, oh man, did he make his presence known.

My heart was in my stomach by the end of this book. I had NO IDEA what direction it was going to go. Frankly, I was shocked. Utterly shocked. But after I had a few days to think and ponder it, I realize why this happened. What people project on the outside isn’t always what’s going on on the inside. Lives will forever be changed. Hearts will be broken. The family will never be the same.

Rachel is the master at this mafia gig. Truly. I could read and reread these books and never be bored. You should really start from the beginning and read all the books. You won’t fully understand all the emotions that are packed into this one until you do. They’re filled with such fantastic characters with wild and crazy stories. They’re family and family always sticks together, even during the hard times. Blood in. No out.

~Melpomene

Buy Enrage HERE

Review: House Revenge by Mike Lawson 


This was a pretty entertaining read. Though it’s the eleventh in a series, I had no trouble keeping track of characters and their occupations, good guys vs bad guys, and the relationships among them all.

House Revenge takes the reader through Boston politics, from commercial land development to dirty congressmen to cops on the take to connections with Mexican drug cartels, all through the eyes of Joe DeMarco. Joe is a right hand man taking direction from politicians, but trouble arises when he doesn’t think through his approach.  

In House Revenge, at the request of those more powerful than he, Joe tries to help an old lady stay in her apartment. Her building is getting torn down to make way for bigger and better – and more profitable – enterprises. Joe doesn’t intend to get too involved, but we all know where the path of good intentions leads. By the middle of the book, Joe is halfway there. 

I liked the peek into DC and Boston politics, the interactions with Boston Police, and the local references. Though some of Joe’s “solutions” seemed pretty far-fetched, I’ve got to give him credit for getting as far as he did in a world where one hand washes the other, and quid pro quo is the status quo.

-calliope 

Buy HOUSE REVENGE

Review: Empire by Rachel VanDyken

01 aemI can barely get my thoughts together after I finished this book. I’m emotionally drained. While I’m thankful this book had the comic relief sprinkled in, it did not help the amount of tears I shed.

“His love story is going to be epic.”

Sergio, sweet Sergio. He has just suffered immensely and I didn’t how much more he could take. Another arranged marriage may very well kill this man. I mean, what was going to be left of him if this went south again? He lost the love of his life and no one was going to compare to her. The last thing he wants to do is get close to another woman and possible fall for her. He loves Andi, and he will always love her. But he will do what he’s told even if that means living a life as half a person.

I loved Val. She was innocent in all things. She has no idea what she’s getting herself into, but she soon finds out that, no matter what, she’ll never compare to Andi. This poor girl has no choice but to hold on for the ride of her life and hold her heart is still in one piece when it’s over.

Without saying spoilers, this book had quite a few surprises. Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, Rachel pulled the rug out from under me. The raw emotions pouring through practically every scene had me clutching my stomach. The utter devastation was almost more than I could take. But as Val did, I held on and had lots and lots of tissues nearby.

Review: Elude by Rachel Van Dyken

01 elude How am I supposed to type when tears are pouring down my face?? And it’s not the simple cute tears. No, it’s the big fat ugly crocodile tears. The ones that make your eyes all puffy and your head hurt. That’s what this book did to me. But it wasn’t all sad tears. Oh no, this book had many beautiful moments that made me cry lots of happy tears as well.

This story is a story of love, family, heartache and hope. It’s about coming together, because you’re family. It’s about forgiving yourself for the past and finding a way to have a future.

But mostly, this book is about love. A love that sneaks up on you, when you least expect it.

Sergio was the ghost. He was always called in to handle difficult situations that no one wanted or couldn’t do. He was an outsider. He had no one but himself. That is a horrible way to live and die. But in the mafia, things can change like the snap of a finger. Like one day, all is fine and next thing you know, you’re being told you have to marry a Russian mob’s daughter, in order to protect her. All in a day’s work, right?

Andi is dying. She knows it and accepts it, but now she’s in danger and has to marry in order to live out the rest of her life on her terms. But what she doesn’t plan on is actually falling for the guy. I mean, he’s cruel and insensitive. Why would anyone want to be with him??

I have been a fan of the Eagle Elite books from the very first moment Nixon opened his mean mouth. I knew these were going to be great, but I had no idea how much they would suck me in. The characters are so real and crazy, but they’re family. These people fight like cats and dogs, but the moment you need them, they would fight to the death for you. They will cheer and celebrate with you and make you laugh when you’re about to lose it. And when you finally lose it, they will hold you up when you fall apart.

Elude has more heart than all the other ones combined. I was not prepared for the emotions that ran through this entire story. This book had me feeling everything. One minute I was swooning and fanning my face, the next I was hugging my pillow and crying. I was put through the ringer. But I loved every moment.

~Melpomene

Buy Elude (Eagle Elite Book 6) for only 99 cents!! Grab it before the price goes up!!

Review: Enforce by Rachel Van Dyken

01enforce Another winner, from the Mafia Queen herself. This book had plenty of love, desperation, heartache and a fair amount of violence. Perfection.

Synopsis
There’s two sides to every story…
And ours? Isn’t pretty…
Then again, what’s pretty about the mafia?
Trace Rooks, that’s what.
But she only wants one of us, and I’ll kill him before I let him have her.
The only problem?
We’re cousins.
And she may just be our long lost enemy.
Whoever said college was hard, clearly didn’t attend Eagle Elite University.
Welcome to hell also known as the Mafia where blood is thicker than life, and to keep yours? Well, keep your friends close, and your enemies?
Even closer…

Remember how I was saying I loved the guy’s point of view?? Well, I swear Rachel read my mind and wrote this for me. Not really, but a girl can dream, right? This is considered book 1.5, so you’ll get to revisit many scenes from Elite, but from the male point of view instead. It’s not a retelling, but a reliving.

Trace Rooks has no idea who she really is. She’s sent to a school, far from home, and forced to deal with the Elite and all their rules. She never had any idea how much her life was going to change. No clue the feelings that were flying around her.

Nixon was in control of every aspect of his life, or so he thought. When he sets eyes on Trace, part of him fell. He was in no way able to control what those feelings would make him do. He’s the boss and he can’t fall for her. Doing that, would be the worst mistake he could make. But sometimes you can’t help who steals your heart.

She was my Juliet, the girl I wasn’t allowed to have.

And the one I wanted most.

Chase Winter, is the the cousin. The nobody. Low man on the totem pole. But when he sees Trace, he’s never been so happy to not be in control. He is perfect for her. He knows it and Nixon knows it. But finding a way to make Trace realize it, is a task that he is ready to do.

“When the time’s right, assign me to Trace-duty. I’ll do what you can’t…”

“And what’s that?”

“Protect you first…love her second.”

This book was written from all the Elite guy’s points of views. There was so much more to the story, that we had no idea. The background stories were something, I longed for, but my heart wasn’t. These boys had so much to deal with, that had nothing to do with school. I was shocked at saddened by quite a bit of it. But now I see and understand them a bit more.

I am totally excited for the next book, Ember. Who knew Mafia books would be this awesome. Well done, Rachel!!

~Melpomene

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Buy Enforce (Eagle Elite)

Get caught up first

Elite (Eagle Elite Book 1)
Elect (Eagle Elite Book 2)
Entice (Eagle Elite Book 3)
Elicit (Eagle Elite Book 4)
Bang Bang